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New manager envisions theme of ‘community theater’ in O’side

OCEANSIDE — Professional community theater may sound like an oxymoron to some who hear the words “community theater” and conjure up the vision of mediocre school plays. However, it is exactly the vision Artistic Director Christopher Williams has in mind for Oceanside Theatre Company, the new property manager of the Sunshine Brooks community theater.
“Theater is a very powerful tool to better human beings,” Williams said.
The company is currently getting ready for its first performance at the Sunshine Brooks Theatre by scrubbing down the theater, holding a supporters meeting, and casting and rehearsing its first play.
A cleanup event was held Nov. 5. A few dozen volunteers pitched in to sort through inventory, clean carpets and freshen up seating.
“We had dumpsters full of garbage,” Williams said. “We shampooed the carpeting and steamed every chair. It was amazing to see so much support.”
A look at what the theater has and needs sparked a donor wish list. A supporters party was held Nov. 12 to share the theater company’s vision and needs.
“We’re starting at the ground level right now,” Williams said. “We’re tenant and property manager with a lot of improvements to make. We need help.”
On the top of the wish list is new flooring and refurbished restrooms. The hope is that flooring and restrooms can be replaced within a year.
Meanwhile performances are under way. Oceanside Theatre Company is rehearing for its first play “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” by Tom Mula, which will run Dec. 16 through Dec. 24.
The dark and comical play is a unique break from typical Christmas classics.
The theater company plans on performing three more plays this year. Theatergoers can expect to see a broad selection of plays in the future that will include musicals and plays for children.
There are also plans to partner with community groups to bring a variety of additional performances to the theater. A comedy night and a dance troop performance of “The Nutcracker Ballet” are already scheduled.
Children and adult acting classes are also on the drawing board.
The company vision is to keep Sunshine Brooks a community theater that nurtures artists’ growth, performs a variety of shows, and raises the theater experience for audience members.
“I think we’re going to do some great things,” Williams said. “The possibilities are endless.”
Sunshine Brooks Theatre is at 217 N. Coast Highway.